The 80’s and 90’s was a magic time for horror. The films we got to see where more often than not either b-rated cheesy fan favourites, entries in long-running franchises or paranoia-fueled gore fests…and sometimes all three at once, as with John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Another great thing about the 80’s and 90’s, besides Kervyn’s hairstyles, was the fact that Carpenter’s name attached to a film was a mark of quality. Well, at least in the sense that you know you are most likely dealing with a cult classic, or a future fan favourite. This also rings true for The Thing which, three decades later, is still as incredible to watch as the first time it scared the pants of people back in 1982.
What is it, though, that makes The Thing so timeless? While I’m sure we can debate that for many hours, I think the answer is two-fold. Firstly, since the film doesn’t rely on archaic CGI but special effects and makeup instead, the gory nature of The Thing remains as fleshy, spiny and grotesque as ever before and since the film plays off in an Arctic research station, the environment automatically renders the film ageless. It also helps that Kurt Russell kicks some major ass, as always, as MacReady.
When a Norwegian chopper explodes trying to kill a sled dog from their camp near an American research station, the Americans go to investigate only to find that the Norwegians have excavated something from the ice which should rather have stayed undiscovered. A horrifying entity starts killing and imitating animals and people in the station, turning the already claustrophobic environment into a hotbed of paranoia, death and violence as human turns on human and animal to try and discover who the creature has turned into…and who the creature will kill next.
The Thing is a prime example of how horror films aren’t being made like the used to. Sure, we get plenty of great horror flicks these days but none come close to being as memorable and chilling as this particular science-fiction horror. You know the drill by now! If you haven’t seen it, make a plan! If you have…let me know how much you loved it! Mr. Carpenter, we salute you.
Last Updated: March 22, 2013